Author Dorothy L. ◦

Music playing from my phone, it’s 03.30 and time to get up! Today is my balloon ride with Outback Ballooning!

I’m out of bed but am I awake? Hopefully a tepid shower will set things right. I’m being picked up at 04.20 and I’m dressed and doing my check, hat, camera, spare batteries, should I take something warm will it be cold when up there in the skies? I change the thermal top to wool t shirt and long sleeve cotton top, omg settle down woman. Thick socks and boots will keep my feet warm so I should be ok.

I know I’m nervous because I don’t like heights and I’m going up in a balloon??? Keep calm!!! deep breaths.

I turn off the lights and walk outside, unlock the gate and patiently ( I’m never patient when I’m waiting) wait to be picked up. It happens that I’m the first on the bus, I wonder how many will be coming on the balloon with me?

After several more stops the driver tells us that he needs to pull over near the airport to find out where we meet the balloon, apparently it is a different area each time because of weather conditions.

This morning, like the last two, conditions are favourable, no breeze all nice and calm.
The driver tells us that we are going along the Santa Teresa Road gosh, I hope we don’t go on the dirt section, luckily we don’t.

Lights ahead to my right and there they are busily inflating the big red balloon. My stomach does a flip flop, am I really doing this??? I raise my camera to my face and start taking photos, the nerves subside, click,click,click. And I’m still on the ground!!
Hello Dorothy, I hear and I turn around and it’s Brett. What a surprise, a friendly face. He asks for my camera and takes a few photos while I climb on board the basket, I had been wondering how I’d clamber into the basket. I had visions of being hoisted into it but no,very civilised really there are foot holds. So one foot in and throw the leg over as you would when mounting a horse.

It has begun, my balloon flight!!! Duncan, the pilot who has quite a few years experience of flying balloons, got the bug for it when only twelve years old.
We are a small group out here this morning, seven paying customers, the pilot and Brett so plenty of turning room, the three young men who are in the same compartment as myself were taking selfies, so I offered to do a group photo for them.

“Would you like your photo taken” they asked but I declined.

We are well off the ground by now, at least 20 feet.

I start click, click, with my camera. Even though the sun has not yet risen the landscape is glorious. As we drift, I looked down to see how mother nature shapes the landscape. Whether from thunderstorms, floods, fire or drought.

I look up and marvel at how wonderful the balloon looks from this angle, the circumference at the top is beautiful. Then realised why a hat is an essential must bring!! the heat from the flame is extremely hot, I didn’t really need the woolly t shirt after all.

The hour flight seemed to be over quickly, maybe another flight is to be had.